Love Unsought by Kay Bea

Hello All lovely readers

Yes, Yes I am back with another review. Amazing, it is nearly July already! How did that happen? What a weird spring and summer it has been, all over the world.

But this time I am visited by Kay Bea, and her book “Love Unsought” which is a Pride and Prejudice Variation book, and I do promise it is very good.

Book info: 

Love Unsought Cover
Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy seem determined to misunderstand one another, and after his disastrous proposal, both are eagerly wishing to forget their acquaintance. But fate, with assistance from Darcy’s scheming cousins, contrives to keep them together.

When Miss Darcy is summoned to Kent, the couple has a chance to begin anew, and their budding friendship carries them to London and Hertfordshire. Their feelings deepen but before their new understanding is made known, Elizabeth is sent to Brighton as a chaperone to her youngest sister. Her stay there ends in ruin when Darcy’s past comes to call.

Upon discovering the situation is worse than he feared, Darcy determines he must be the one to make things right. His departure leaves Elizabeth in doubt and their future in question. Was their love too new to withstand a scandal?

A series of missed chances, misdirected letters, and miscommunications keeps the couple apart; it makes require the intervention of their nearest relations to bring them back together.

Review of the book;

I was at first a little sceptical of this book but as Anne De Bough and Richard, Fitzwilliam starts to scheme to get Darcy and Elizabeth to not misunderstand each other any longer. Especially after their many misunderstandings in Kent, and when Georgiana Darcy appears on the scene, it gives our beloved couple a chance to start over. The scheming of Anne and Richard was beyond brilliant, and how Anne manages to keep her true health a secret from her mother, – and it made me chuckle and giggle quite a few times!

The misunderstandings of Darcy and Elizabeth made me quite annoyed and made me say quite a few choice words at the author, but otherwise, I was quite pleased with the plot, and how both Elizabeth and Darcy feel towards each other, it is quite cute, and how shy they both are, and scared of being hurt.

During yet another misunderstanding, this time in the Bennet family, Elizabeth is sent with Lydia to Brighton, while Darcy is winning the approval of Mr Bennet and the neighbourhood. But Brighton and Lydia… gosh I was giving up at that point, but the plot was really quite exciting, as Darcy is making his way towards Brighton to pursue Elizabeth, and after she is lost in the storm as she overhears something horrible, which she misunderstands… My head literally hit the table when I read that, another misunderstanding!

But just before Darcy departs to find Lydia and Wickham who has run off, he passionately kisses Elizabeth! And I thought; YAY! They admitted to their feelings! But then a letter goes awry and as Elizabeth returns to Longbourn, she thinks Darcy doesn’t care for her any longer! And Mrs Bennet… I cannot say anything about her, except she is a horrible character, full stop!

But finally with the scheming of Anne and Richard, and some luck our beloved couple reunites and finally is united in their feelings and their promise to marry! So a happy ending is in sight! I was nearly jumping for joy at this point… I will leave you with this, and let you discover whether Darcy and Elizabeth do get to marry each other or not.

Love Sought may be the prefered thing, but Love unsought… might be the best of those two.

Author info:  

Kay Bea Love Unsought

Kay Bea is an administrative assistant and Jane Austen lover living in Kansas City with her husband of 26 years, her mother-in-law, and her four kids. She has written several short stories and drabbles on fanfiction.net as “I Found My Mr Darcy” and on A Happy Assembly as MrsDarcy2032.

Kay grew up in Wyoming, enjoyed a two-year adventure in Maryland, and now calls Missouri home. When she isn’t writing, Kay enjoys photography, cooking, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Buy Options;

 

 

Love Unsought ebook

So that was that for this time! I will return at some point in July with a few more reviews. I hope you all enjoy this latest book, and its message and lovely plot. Thank you to Christina Boyd for thinking of me and including me in the review process, and thank you to Kay Bea for writing such a lovely and sweet if heart-wrenching book.

In Plain Sight by Don Jacobson

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Hello All, welcome back to my blog! Thank you to all of you lovely readers who left comments on the latest blog entries from me.

In a surprise move, I was added to the blog tour of Don Jacobson’s latest and likely most radical and highly dramatic book, “In Plain Sight.” So read on, I promise there is a giveaway and a review!

I was one of the lucky people who still read Fanfiction and Don put up this amazing story on that particular platform – it made me weep, giggle, gasp and sigh, and shocked me beyond belief, and taught me something, which is so very typical for a Don Jacobson book these days.

Book Description;

“At the end of the day when we are each of us lyin’ flat on our backs, lookin’ at the ceiling, and the vicar is whisperin’ in our ear, the greatest comfort we shall ’ave is to know that we loved well and were well-loved in return.”

When Fitzwilliam Darcy’s father slides into an early grave, his son is forced to take on Pemberley’s mantle. Brandy numbs his pain, but Darcy’s worst inclinations run wild. After tragedy rips everything away, he spends years finding his way back: a man redeemed by a woman’s loving understanding. Elizabeth Bennet is afflicted with a common Regency ailment: observing the world about her but not seeing those beneath her notice. Then a clarifying act shatters the propriety that has denied her heart the transcendent love she craves.

In Plain Sight explores Jane Austen’s eternal love story by flipping social roles on their heads. From their first encounter, Elizabeth Bennet and the convict known as “Smith” must overcome their prejudices and breakthrough their pride. Only then can they share the treasure hidden in plain sight.

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OMG! Guys! There is an excerpt which Don and Janet Taylor is letting us have a peak at! Enjoy!

Excerpt of the book;

Chapter 12

On the Mimram River Road

Richard Fitzwilliam burst from the tree line and onto the road. He hauled his steed’s head to the side to point the beast down the way toward the nearby town. Imperator snorted his derision at the idea that he, a highly trained warhorse capable of galloping across pockmarked battlefields, would be content to canter along a country lane. Although both stallion and rider were five years removed from Europe’s conflicts, the pair enjoyed charging throughout their Derbyshire neighbourhood. Their cross-country bolt from Netherfield’s manor house led them across drying fields, over hedgerows, and along the shoulder of as fine a bit of elevated terrain as Richard had seen throughout his former career.

Damn me, but Wellesley would have adored that crest. He would have command of the entire river valley. Three batteries would control every compass point.

Of course, several braces of eighteen-pounders equipped with Shrapnel’s explosive apples likely would not have deterred Fitzwilliam’s latest nemesis—or rather her latest assaults on his sensible nature. That was why Richard had resolved to put as much of Hertfordshire between Miss Bingley and his unshackled leg as he possibly could. Yesterday had been unmitigated agony as he found himself trapped by weather in Netherfield’s precincts after he, Bingley, Miss Bingley, and the Hursts had arrived mid-morning at Charles’s leased estate.

The ginger-haired lady’s best efforts to ingratiate herself with Fitzwilliam had tested the limits of his endurance. Thankfully, the rain had abated overnight, and he had been able to ride out before dawn to dash his frustrations onto the fields, stiles, and hedges that divided the countryside.

Richard rested his gauntlets on buckskin-covered thighs and gave voice to the source of his frustration.

“Oh, Mr Fitzwilliam, to whom do you write?

“Oh, Mr Fitzwilliam, how elegant and even is your penmanship!

“Oh, Mr Fitzwilliam, please convey my best wishes to dear Georgiana.

“Oh, Mr Fitzwilliam, do you believe your mother, the countess, will condescend to visit Netherfield if we can promise her a suitably attended house party?

“Oh, Mr Fitzwilliam…”

Richard snorted, leading Impy to flick an ear back at him in acknowledgement.

“You think to mollify me by offering noncommittal agreement?” Richard shot at the back of his horse’s head. “Would that we could exchange shoes—me for your iron, you for my leather—for a day. I would pay a penny to the pope to watch you try to stay clear of Caroline Bingley’s social-climbing clutches.

“That is a problem you have never had to face, my amorous hoofed friend. I seriously doubt there has ever been a lady mare or gentle filly who thought to refuse you. I am sure that you are thoroughly convinced that every one of them is expecting your addresses.

“Since we returned from India, you have spent far too much of your life being pursued around Pemberley’s meadows by every mama in the stable. It has given you a big head, I tell you.”

Imperator turned his well-shaped head back toward his rider—never his master for Horse had only consented to bear Man’s weight out of compassion and not out of compulsion—until one large brown orb glinted in Fitzwilliam’s view. Then Impy simply rolled his eye telling Richard that he, once again, had overlarded the pudding with his threats. The mount knew that, just as he would carry none other than Fitzwilliam until, in his age, he would gallop off to the high country where Sleipnir ruled over the equine Valhalla, so, too, never could the soldier bear to ride another in his string if Imperator was fit and ready for duty. They were mated for the life of one or the other.

A hoof pawed the road surface. He was anxious to return to the estate’s warm stable for a straw and curry brush rubdown administered by Fitzwilliam before the man turned him into his stall for a bucket of warm mash and a few wrinkled apples delivered from the kitchens to sweeten his morning meal.

Richard understood his impatience. His own stomach growled its discontent.

He tightened his knees and tapped the animal’s ribs with his boot heels. Impy’s great legs began to eat up the furlongs as Richard gave him his head.

They pounded around a blind corner. A flash of color diving into the scrubby border, followed by a high-pitched shriek, pulled Fitzwilliam from his reverie.

Fitzwilliam was off his saddle and dashing to the shoulder to assist a young woman as she tried to clamber back to her feet. She was clad only in her morning gown and short gloves. Her bonnet was cockeyed and bedraggled.

Another rich brown eye glared at Fitzwilliam. This time, though, ’twas one of the distaff persuasion, impaling him from beneath a torn straw brim. Rather than being amused with his most recent antics, this orb was quite irked and indicted him for her tumble into the weeds.

The miss quickly rendered her gown—battered by this escapade and showing a brownish boundary at least six inches deep from some earlier battle with the elements—shipshape and in Bristol fashion. Then she accepted Richard’s proffered hand to be helped to her feet.

Fitzwilliam was shorter than the traditional six-foot-plus of most Fitzwilliam men. Although he was only slightly more than average height, he towered over this young woman. This lady—for such she certainly was, despite her shopworn appearance—barely threatened five feet. Her beetled brows tilted up at his face from a spot level with his collarbones.

And that glare showed she was not well pleased. Fitzwilliam steeled himself for a tongue-lashing.

“You…you…” she sputtered. “Just who do you think you are to be tearing around the neighbourhood like some entitled and pampered…uh…uh…pamplemousse?”

The allusion to an oversized fruit tickled Fitzwilliam’s skewed sense of humour.

“I fear that ’tis true, miss, that Imperator”—at this, he pointed to his steed—“and I were racing along without being completely attentive. I do believe, though, that you were thinking of those foolish frog aristocrats who contributed to their demise by riding roughshod through their peasants’ fields. Hence, your free use of French.

“However, if you seek to insult,” he japed, “you need to hone your technique. I believe the word you wanted was ‘popinjay.’ Do you not agree, Impy?”

The stallion whickered and dipped his head, extending his velvety snout to poke the young lady’s hand.

“Oh, so that is how it is, you overgrown fleabag!” Fitzwilliam rejoined. “You seek to encourage this gentlewoman to lay all the blame on me. Next, you’ll go down on your back to have her rub your belly.”

His opponent giggled at the ridiculous dialogue between man and beast. Then she remembered her mission and interrupted any further comments Richard might have made.

“Please, sir, hear me. I am on an urgent quest. Let us do what is traditional for all Britons meeting each other for the first time. Since Sir William Lucas, our master of ceremonies, is not here to properly introduce us, I am going to assume that Imperator is doing the offices.

“My name is Miss Elizabeth Bennet of Longbourn Estate here in Meryton. And you are…”

“Richard Fitzwilliam of Pemberley, Derbyshire. I am sorry for your discomfort. I was not attending to the path forward, so anxious I was to return to my friend’s estate. I am a guest of Charles Bingley who is leasing Netherfield on the other side of this hill behind us.”

Lizzy brightened. “Oh, Netherfield…Netherfield is Longbourn’s neighbour. My mother has been trumpeting that the estate was let to an unmarried young man of considerable fortune.”

Fitzwilliam’s lips thinned.

She added in a conspiratorial, but light, tone, “If you, too, are without a wife, I urge you to beware. Mama is one of Meryton’s leading matchmakers with four daughters yet to wed!

“I do accept your apology, sir, for nuptials are not our immediate concern. I must, however, ask for your compassion and your assistance. I was returning to Longbourn to enlist my father’s aid. There is a man who is grievously hurt. He needs to be moved to a warm place without delay!”

Fitzwilliam demanded, “Where is he, Miss Bennet?”

Lizzy manoeuvred him back past the curve and pointed down the road, “There—in the vale between the roadside and the riverbank beneath the overhanging tree branch.”

Richard immediately began jogging down the track, leaving Lizzy to collect Imperator’s reins and scurry along behind. She arrived moments after Fitzwilliam had climbed down the small hillside and knelt beside the leaf- and grass-entombed figure. He began dismantling the fruits of Lizzy’s labors.

Elizabeth remained on the road clutching Impy’s ribbons, not realizing that the horse never would have departed Fitzwilliam’s side. She peered down as Mr Fitzwilliam gently lifted off the last of the grass before he ceased all movement, astonished at the destruction that had been wrecked upon the unfortunate.

“What is this?” he asked sotto voce before looking over his shoulder at Lizzy and directing his next at her. “Who is this man? Where did he come from?”

She colored, feeling guilty at her knowledge and the unspoken urges that had disturbed her for two days. Then she softly replied, “He is, I believe, a convict. I saw him in a labor gang that is domiciled in a remote barn on Netherfield’s land. He must have escaped and tried to swim across the flood. The riverbed must have torn his back.”

Fitzwilliam snorted. “No rocks, however sharp, did all this in such an orderly way. See how the cuts on his flesh match well with the tears in his shirt? If he had been ground against stone with roiling water dragging him every which way, there would be many more abrasions and slashes on his body where none appear in his clothing.”

To prove his point, he carefully tugged the hem of the man’s shirt down toward the top of his pantaloons. “I have seen such mayhem before, long ago, when Wellesley had to impose discipline on the sepoy troops.

“While some of his wounds arguably may be consistent with being tumbled in the rapids, this man has been flogged and beaten within an inch of his life.

Review;

After a disastrous accident, Darcy is stripped of his name and rank, and as a prisoner of the state, he is to work on the Mimram River Project. The Bennet family luckily owns shares in that project, and soon a man is discovered on the muddy bank of the Mimram by Elizabeth Bennet. The man is half-dead by his injuries, including several horrible whippings, one which is seen by Mr Bennet, Mary and Elizabeth Bennet, I was crying my eyes out at some of these scenes, but it also opened my eyes to how England was building up towards the Industrial Revolution already during the Regency Period, and even how blind we are today towards people who are supposedly beneath us because their circumstances are awry or different than ours.

This sets our beloved couple on a journey to discover both themselves and how to see past their prejudice and pride and find the hidden treasures that are each other, behind the expected behaviours. I will also admit to screaming at Don several times when Mr Collins appeared on the scene, and how he nearly discovered the emerging feelings Elizabeth and Darcy has for each other.

Soon a scandal is rolling in Meryton during the Harvest Ball, due to Miss Caroline Bingley, what a horrible woman she is, but as always Don makes sure that the bad people get their comeuppance! The scandal forces several characters to leave the comfortable Hertfordshire for the northern counties. Here Elizabeth is forced to see the world around her, from a new perspective, namely the world she has been blind to, the servants and workers, who is now her new level. Finally, the hearts of Elizabeth and the convict known as “Smith” open to each other, and love is discovered.

A daring plan is soon underway with the help of Richard Fitzwilliam, Mr Edward and Mrs Mary Benton and Elizabeth to prove that ‘Smith’ is ready to rejoin society and return to his former name. I was sitting on the edge of my seat at this point! Don’s new book was both a revelation and a shock to the system at certain points! The book also, in my opinion, was based on the principles of change and acceptance of the unexpected!

One quote Darcy makes during one of the last scenes touched me utterly!

“Henry Wilson was the Baptist, albeit preaching silently.” Smith smiled and chuckled at his jest. “His presence meant my term need not be served without companionship. Youngster that he was, he impressed upon me that I could negotiate the space within which I existed.” … “Wilson taught me that I was not alone, despite my imagined condition after my father’s death. Miss Elizabeth impressed upon me that I had become worthy of being loved”

It touched me since Darcy says that without Henry Wilson he would not have survived, or that is how I read it. But Don was not done, he several times referred to his own works, with the concepts of “The Loves” which is the cornerstones of changes in the Wardrobe series.

“The Greeks in their wisdom have identified four great loves. Miss Bennet has shown me the Fifth and Sixth… Exagoras agapis – The love that Redeems – and Synchotiki agape – the love that Forgives”

The Ending was as all of Don’s endings, happy, changed and ready to begin a new life after being lost in the wilderness.

I can only say a huge congratulations on this new book, Don!

Author Bio:

Don Jacobson Head Shot[568]

Don Jacobson has written professionally for forty years.  His output has ranged from news and features to advertising, television, and radio.  His work has been nominated for Emmys and other awards.  He has previously published five books, all non-fiction.  In 2016, he began publishing The Bennet Wardrobe Series

The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey (2016)

Henry Fitzwilliam’s War (2016)

The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque (2017)

Lizzy Bennet Meets the Countess (2017)

The Exile: The Countess Visits Longbourn (2018)

The Avenger: Thomas Bennet and a Father’s Lament (2018)

The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion (2019)

Jacobson is also part of the collective effort behind the publication of the upcoming North and South anthology, Falling for Mr Thornton: Tales of North and South, released in 2019.

Other Austenesque Variations include the paired books “Of Fortune’s Reversal” (2016) and “The Maid and The Footman” (2016). Lessers and Betters (2018) offers readers the paired novellas in one volume to allow a better appreciation of the “Upstairs-Downstairs” mentality that drives the stories.

 Jacobson holds an advanced degree in History with a speciality in American Foreign Relations.  As a college instructor, Don teaches United States History, World History, the History of Western Civilization, and Research Writing. He is a member of the Austen Authors Collective and JASNA. He lives in Las Vegas, NV with his wife, Pam.

Contact Info:

Don Jacobson’s Amazon Author’s Page

Goodreads Author’s Page (with blog)

Author Website

Twitter  (@AustenesqueAuth)

Buy Info:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Giveaway:

HEAR ALL! There is a giveaway! Meryton Press is giving away 8 eBooks of In Plain Sight by Don Jacobson.

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Last words by me;

So that is all for this time around, I will be back fairly soon with another lovely review of “Love unsought” and I promise its good!

Rebellion at Longbourn

“Rebellion” by Victoria Kincaid.

Hi All, welcome back! As you can see, I have been quite busy this month – welcoming several authors to my blog. This time around it is another retuning authoress, namely Victoria Kincaid and her new book; Rebellion at Longbourn.

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Book Description;

Elizabeth Bennet’s father died two years ago, and her odious cousin Mr Collins has taken possession of the Longbourn estate. Although Collins and his wife Charlotte have allowed the Bennet sisters and their mother to continue living at Longbourn, the situation is difficult. Viewing Elizabeth and her sisters as little more than unpaid servants, Collins also mistreats the tenants, spends the estate’s money with abandon, and rejects any suggestions about improving or modernizing Longbourn. After one particularly egregious incident, Elizabeth decides she must organize a covert resistance among her sisters and the tenants, secretly using more modern agricultural methods to help the estate thrive. Her scheme is just getting underway when Mr Darcy appears in Meryton. 

Upon returning from a long international voyage, Darcy is forced to admit he cannot forget his love for Elizabeth. When he learns of the Bennet family’s plight, he hurries to Hertfordshire, hoping he can provide assistance. Sinking into poverty, Elizabeth is further out of Darcy’s reach than ever; still, he cannot help falling even more deeply in love. But what will he do when he discovers her covert rebellion against Longbourn’s rightful owner?    

Falling in love with Mr Darcy was not part of Elizabeth’s plan, but it cannot be denied. Darcy struggles to separate his love for her from his abhorrence for deception. Will their feelings for each other help or hinder the Rebellion at Longbourn? 

As you can read this is another nerve-wracking and a rather ingenious book, which I am also reading as we speak, and my review will appear sometime in July. But so far I can tell you, that Collins is odious, the Bennet girls desperate, Charlotte is ignoring everything around her except her child, and Darcy is desperately in love with Elizabeth and just realized that she and her sisters are used as unpaid servants.

Let me tell you, I was screaming quite loudly at Victoria, for letting Elizabeth and her sisters sink that deep. Where the hell is the Phillips and Gardiners????!! And why are they not helping the Bennet’s?

I am eagerly awaiting to see if Darcy, in the end, will let his emotions rule him? Or will the deception the Bennet girls and Elizabeth are running at Longbourn make him run away?

Message from the author;

Hello Sophia and thank you for welcoming me back to visit!  I’m always so astonished and pleased to see how much interest there is in JAFF all over the world!  Below is an excerpt from Rebellion at Longbourn. Soon after Darcy returns to Hertfordshire, he encounters Elizabeth in Meryton. and they embark on a private walk along a stream.

Excerpt;

Once they were at the base of the incline, the path was dry and level.  The shallow, fast-running stream was framed on both banks by trees and undergrowth that was just now bursting into life.  Everywhere, the world was clad in the bright yellowish-green of spring foliage.

“This is thoroughly delightful,” Mr. Darcy remarked, surveying the leafy streambed.  “The forests of Canada are quite magnificent, but English woods have their own charms.”

“To be sure,” Elizabeth agreed.  “I particularly treasure this walk at this time of year.”

Silence fell as they meandered along the path hugging the streambed.  Mr. Darcy had made a point of seeking her company; surely he must have something specific to discuss.  But long minutes passed where he only took pleasure in the scenery.

“So, tell me, Mr. Darcy,” she said finally.  “What sort of business brings you to Meryton?  It must be something particular to bring you to such a remote location so soon after returning from your voyage.”

His body stiffened slightly.  She had broken the unwritten rule that a gentleman’s “business” must never be questioned.  It was always a private affair that was rarely discussed, and then only at the gentleman’s instigation.  Jane would have been horrified at Elizabeth’s ill manners, but her sister was not present to help rein in her more impertinent impulses.

“Indeed.  It is something very particular.” Mr. Darcy cleared his throat.   “And it concerns you.”

Elizabeth could not conceal her shock. “Me?”

“Well, your family,” he corrected.  “I wish to—I must—make amends…”

Had Mr. Darcy’s conversation always been so confounding?  “I am not aware that you have done us any harm.”

His face was grim.  “I have.  You are simply unaware of my role.  It is not my actions, but my inactions that did the damage.”

Elizabeth frowned at him, unable to imagine what he meant.  Did he believe he could have somehow stopped her father from dying or prevented Collins from inheriting Longbourn?

“You are aware that Wickham was a childhood friend of mine?” Mr. Darcy asked.

She nodded, hating the sound of that man’s name, although she was under no illusions that Mr. Darcy remained ignorant of Lydia’s sad story.  After Wickham led Lydia to ruin, Elizabeth had reconsidered all her interactions with the man.  The process had uncovered many lies, and she assumed that much of what he had told her was untrue.  This had deepened her negative opinion of Mr. Darcy, perhaps unfairly.  It was only fair to give him the benefit of the doubt now.

The man’s face was so still it might have been etched in stone.  “Wickham did my family several bad turns, the worst of which was seducing my sister and persuading her to elope with him.”  Elizabeth gasped, but he continued his calm recitation.  “Naturally, he did not love her but only pursued her dowry.”

“I did not realize it was a habit with him,” she said darkly.

Mr. Darcy grimaced.  “Nor did I.”

Elizabeth was ashamed to realize that she had continued to believe the accusations against Mr. Darcy even after Mr. Wickham had proven himself to be a scoundrel and a liar.  With every reason to distrust Mr. Wickham’s words, she had persisted in viewing him as a proud, difficult man who had cheated Mr. Wickham of his inheritance. She had done Mr. Darcy a disservice.

“I knew his untrustworthy nature when I arrived at Meryton,” Mr. Darcy continued. “But I believed it was beneath me to relate such stories.  I did not want to gossip.”  The expression on his face suggested disgust with his previous behavior.  “I could have warned the good people of Meryton and alerted Wickham’s commanding officer.  I could have relayed a word of caution to your father.  But I did not.” 

His expression was so dejected that Elizabeth was compelled to make an attempt to lighten his spirits.  “You had no reason to believe he would be a danger to a girl with no fortune to speak of.”

He shook his head, staring at the stream.  “If your father had been forewarned—or Colonel Forster…”

“I believe you take too much upon yourself, sir!  Lydia made her own choices.”

Mr. Darcy shook his head.  “She was dealing with a master of deceit and immorality.  She had no real chance of escaping his clutches.”

Elizabeth bit her lip.  “There are many things that might have altered the past.  My father blamed himself for allowing Lydia to visit Brighton.  I blamed myself for not arguing more forcefully against the trip.  Even Jane regrets that she did not express her misgivings about Lydia’s behavior.  I have come to the conclusion that in such situations a good memory is a hindrance to happiness.”

This drew a chuckle from him.  “Perhaps.”  His expression sobered.  “But I have reason to believe that he singled out your family because of your association with me.”

Elizabeth stumbled over a rock in the path, and Mr Darcy caught her arm, preventing her from falling.  “Why would he think—? We are barely acquainted!”

He gave her a strange look but then said, “Wickham may have presumed a greater degree of acquaintance than we actually possessed.”

Elizabeth stared at the trunks of the trees behind Mr Darcy, attempting to map this information onto the events of two years ago.  The only time she had seen Mr Darcy and Mr Wickham in the same place had been on the street in Meryton when the two men had not spoken.   But she did recall Mr Wickham paying particular attention to the other man’s behavior.  Had he assumed an attachment to the Bennet family that did not exist?  Perhaps he speculated that Mr Darcy was interested in Jane? 

“Possibly,” she said finally.  “But that still does not make you culpable for Mr Wickham’s actions.”

He took a step toward her, grabbing her elbows as if he needed to command her attention.  “Eliz—Miss Elizabeth, it is all my fault!  All of it!  Do you not understand?”

She retreated backward a half step, a bit alarmed at his sudden vehemence.

“If I had laid Wickham’s character bare in Meryton, then Lydia would have been protected,” Mr Darcy continued.  “Her actions would not have harmed your family’s reputation or hastened your father’s death.”

“Perhaps.  Or perhaps you underestimate the degree of Lydia’s foolishness or my father’s indulgence.” 

 

Buy the book;

http://amazon.co.uk

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About the author;

Victoria Kincaid is the author of several popular Jane Austen variations, including The Secrets of Darcy and ElizabethPride & ProposalsMr Darcy to the Rescue, When Mary Met the Colonel and Darcy vs. Bennet. All of her books have been listed in Amazon’s Top 20 Bestselling Regency Romances. The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth was nominated for a Rone award and Pride and Proposals was recognized as a top Austenesque novel for 2015 by Austenesque Reviews.

Victoria has a PhD in English literature and has taught composition to unwilling college students. Today she teaches business writing to willing office professionals and tries to give voice to the demanding cast of characters in her head.

She lives in Virginia with an overly affectionate cat, an excessively energetic dog, two children who love to read, and a husband who fortunately is not jealous of Mr Darcy. A lifelong Austen fan, Victoria has read more Jane Austen variations and sequels than she can count – and confesses to an extreme partiality for the Colin Firth miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice.

Giveaway;

I have been allowed to offer, one copy of this rather brilliant book, so comment away and Victoria will draw the winner, once the blog tour ends on the 27th of June.

Connect with Victoria at

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Outmatched by Jayne Bamber

Outmatched Jayne Bamber

Hi All,

Yes, you are likely wondering why I am writing about “Outmatched” again, but this time it is just my review of the book since I was one of the lucky ones who got an ARC copy to read. This new book was a mix of Sense & Sensibility & Mansfield Park, and I was quite surprised by it! Mansfield has never really been my cup of tea, but gosh did Jayne surprise me yet again!

My Review;

A secret kept for more than 20 years, two families coming together again, with several family secrets aplenty.

Sir Thomas has just returned from Antigua and stopped the theatrical at Mansfield Park – where Henry Crawford is flirting with Maria Bertram, Edmund is falling for Miss Crawford, and poor Fanny is still quite invisible. But when Mr Rushworth is being rejected by Maria, Lady Rushworth steps in with guns blazing to get her son’s happiness, with no idea how this will affect all around her.

A visit to Norland Park sets the stage for a different Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park as I have ever read! For one I started to like Mary Crawford when she starts to develop a liking for Fanny Price and also figures out that she has a heart for another than Edmund.

There was quite a bit of drama, and quite a lot of new couples which I was quite happy to see develop, and form. There were quite a few couples who surprised me, and at first, I wasn’t quite sure would work at first, but it worked somewhat, I do wonder why I even wondered Jayne usually manages her plots beautifully. I laughed and sighed and cursed the author quite a few times, but all in all wow, surprising!

The secret which drove the plot was finally revealed, and several things happened and were revealed, and quite a lot of drama was in the making at this house party at Norland. But for once the good guys got what was rightfully theirs, and the greedy John and Fanny Price was kicked out, so to speak.

But also Fanny Price, the invisible niece at Mansfield Park turned into a really likeable character, a compassionate woman, even if she was blind to her own good and the good fortune of being admired by a respectable man, – as Susan Price says;

She nestled closer to Fanny and gave a soft, sly sort of laugh. “I saw you and him, walking together. I saw you holding hands.” Fanny let out a shaky breath, and allowed herself a moment of giggling with her sister over it. “I was not expecting it.” “Doves and trumpets, you big idiot.”

Let us just say that Susan is very right, about her last comments, Doves and trumpets indeed! hehe, and I will admit to Fanny deserving every bit of her good fortune, in both fortune and heart.

Another character which used an original quote from Mansfield Park was Elinor Dashwood from S&S, but I will let you readers judge about who the quote is about.

“It is just here in the caption you have made; ‘A Parson at Play – by a Partial and Prejudiced Observer.’ Partial and prejudiced?”

All in all, a read well worth the time and 5 Austen’s. Actually, all the couples got their HEA, in some form or another. Some unexpected, some hilariously well deserved and others was so unexpected that it kind of sneaked up on you doing the book. But the whole plot was well-formed and well written, and Jayne as always had her sense of humour clearly playing up within several of the characters.

Well done Jayne! Can’t wait for future books. It was a pleasure yet again to host you, with another amazing if surprising book.

 

 

THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY

Book cover of The Jane Austen Society[8429]Welcome to All, new and old readers.

First, let me introduce myself, I am the owner of this fine blog, and my name is Sophia and I am so proud to be part of this blog tour, thanks to Laurel Nattress, who contacted me and thank you for writing this amazing story, Natalie Jenner.

Well, to business. I am proud and pleased to announce my review of “The Jane Austen Society” by Natalie Jenner, – the new and upcoming Austen related book, which has the whole Austen community in a flurry of upheaval.
There have been quite a few rumours of this book, in the last few months, – but I was one of the lucky few who got an ARC copy to enjoy, and wow did I enjoy it!? The answer; YES!

 

Book Description:

The Jane Austen Society Blog Tour Banner[8425]

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.

My Review

The Jane Austen Society takes it beginning in charming if rural Chawton Village in Hampshire, just as WWII is drawing to its conclusion. Here we are met with a band of different characters, seemingly with nothing in common except 1 thing; Jane Austen and her works.

The focus of the book was the pain of WWII and how Jane Austen helped to heal and guide people after and during their pain and loss of the great war of 1940-1945. And each character in the book had experienced losses in one form or another. We are introduced to Dr Gray, who has lost his wife, Mimi Harrison (American movie actor) who has lost her father, Evie who is a housemaid who has lost her chance of schooling, Andrew Forrester who has lost the love of his life, Adam Berwick who has lost his father, Frances Knight who loses her father and her home, Adeline Lewis who loses both her husband and baby – this band of characters who Natalie managed to bring to life and make this reader feel their pain, confusion, and hope during the plot.

Secondly, the fictional part of the plot follows how these seven characters help to form the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton, and how they struggle to acquire the library from the Knight Estate and the small if well-loved cottage, many fans of Miss Austen’s both know and love to visit to feel close to the lady and her genius – where she wrote 3 out of 5 much read, many times translated, discussed, performed, filmed and enjoyed books.

Natalie especially caught me with this following quote, “And that’s exactly what Austen gives us. A world so a part of our own, yet so separate, that entering it is like some kind of tonic. Even with so many flawed and even silly characters, it all makes sense in the end. It may be the most sense we’ll ever get to make out of our own messed-up world. That’s why she lasts, like Shakespeare. It’s all in there, all of life, all the stuff that counts, and keeps counting, all the way to here, to you.”

In my opinion, Natalie nailed it with this quote, because she’s so right with this statement, Austen lasts and has lasted for more than 200 years so far, and is as well-loved as she ever has been. Her books I find is truly like a tonic, when you need an escape from your own messed up world because no matter how messed up the plot gets, you know it all makes sense in the end.

The story had its ups and downs, but every page was a revelation with many references to the works of Miss Austen, including a heartwarming proposal, very much like a well-known character, who is older than the heroine and is too proud to admit to his faults, and in this scene, Miss Austen’s “Emma” reference was used perfectly.

“She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand and smiled at him lovingly for the first time in as long as that. “Are you sure?” “Frances, I just watched you have your whole world ripped out from under you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have. It would be my honour, truly, to be your husband.”

Wow, did I sigh and have to remove a tear at that scene! It was simply wonderful, and the reference was just perfect! Emma might not be my favourite, but gosh did I suddenly have to rush out to find my copy and locate the matching scene to read it again, after finishing this lovely book.

Another thing I noted was Adam Berwick and the way Natalie wrote him, and how much I could identify with his search for meaning and why some things matter a lot and some not at all, – and how that resonated with my personality and my way of seeing the world around me. Though I could identify with more or less all of the characters in one way or another, – but mostly with Adam and his escape into the worlds of others’ making.

“He had gone to work every day merely to survive, saving for himself a few hours every night to disappear into fictional world of others’ making. He was hoping to find some answers for why he didn’t care about some things and cared too much about others.”

Another way Austen is being used to heal and guide people, in Adam’s way of searching for answers, – I think we can all identify with the escape from our world. Though likely the character who understood Miss Austen best in this book, and her search for ‘greatness’ was Evie, the youngest member of The Jane Austen Society. Especially when she locates a certain letter from a Miss J. Austen, and I am guessing it would have been to Miss C. Austen. I think my adrenaline spiked when that letter was found, just reading it, I could feel it, nearly see the yellowed paper between ones hands and feel how fragile it would feel and recognise the handwriting!

As Evie turned the pages of the large dense volume still in her hands – pages so thick that it took actual effort sometimes to pry their edges open – she could feel a slight bulging in the section coming up. She skipped eagerly ahead to it, and as she flipped over the final page, a letter fell out. The handwriting was familiar to her from some of the earlier annotations, inscriptions, and margin markings she had found. No postmark was on the outside folded cover, the letter apparently having never been mailed. She could not believe her eyes as she read it, at first too quickly, as if convinced the paper might disappear as mysteriously as it had been found – and then three more times, each time more slowly than before. It was the very thing she would have been looking for, if only she could have guessed what that could possibly be. 

She had had moments before in the library, late at night, that had approached a small degree of the euphoria she now felt as she scribbled away, but nothing else had ever come close to this. She finally understood why she had spent so many futile nights sitting here, on her little stool, alone. This was why she had never given up. And this was why Miss Adeline had been right all along. She had, with this discovery, brought the world closer than it had ever been before to the greatness. She had, as Miss Woolf herself once described it, caught Jane Austen in the act.

And yes indeed she had caught Jane Austen in the “Act” so to speak! And lastly, the ending perfectly rounded off, and all the characters got their own form of Happily Ever After. So I can completely content with this book, it was such a pleasure and privilege to read it. I can only congratulate Natalie on a wonderful book, with all the deserved praise and accolades it has already received.

*Psst!* Did you hear that it’s actor Richard Armitage who is narrating the book as audio??

AUDIOBOOK NARRATED BY ACTOR RICHARD ARMITAGE:

The full unabridged text of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY was read by the distinguished English film, television, theatre and voice actor Richard Armitage for the audiobook recording. Best known by many period drama fans for his outstanding performance as John Thornton in the BBC television adaptation of North and South (2004), Armitage also portrayed Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit (2012 – 2014).

Link to YouTube audiobook excerpt: https://youtu.be/OJ1ACJluRi8

ADVANCE PRAISE:

“Just like a story written by Austen herself, Jenner’s first novel is brimming with charming moments, endearing characters, and nuanced relationships…Readers won’t need previous knowledge of Austen and her novels to enjoy this tale’s slow revealing of secrets that build to a satisfying and dramatic ending.”Booklist (starred review)

“Few things draw disparate people together so quickly as discovering they love the same writers. Few writers cement such friendships as deeply as Austen does. I believe that the readers of Jenner’s book will fall in love with the readers inside Jenner’s book, all of us thinking and dreaming of Austen the whole while. What could be better? Nothing, that’s what! A wonderful book, a wonderful read.” ―Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club

“Fans of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will adore The Jane Austen Society… A charming and memorable debut, which reminds us of the universal language of literature and the power of books to unite and heal.” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

 

Author Bio

Author Natalie Jenner headshot X2 2020[8424]

Natalie Jenner is the debut author of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY, a fictional telling of the start of the society in the 1940s in the village of Chawton, where Austen wrote or revised her major works. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie graduated from the University of Toronto with degrees in English Literature and Law and has worked for decades in the legal industry. She recently founded the independent bookstore Archetype Books in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

Accolades;

  • An Amazon Best Book of May 2020
  • One of Goodreads Big Books of Spring & Hot Books of Summer
  • One of Audible’s Top 50 Most Anticipated Spring Audiobooks
  • June 2020 Indie Next Pick
  • May 2020 Library Reads Pick
  • Starred Review – Library Journal
  • Starred Review – Booklist

PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORYINDIEBOUND | AUDIBLEGOODREADS | BOOKBUB

 

That was it for this time around, all, I hope you enjoy the book tour, and thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog. I hope you will return in future for more reviews of Austen related books, adventures and much much more.

Guest Post with Jayne Bamber

Hey All! So it is once again that time when a blog from me is coming out 😀 This time, I am visited by a returning author namely; Jayne Bamber and her new book, “Outmatched.” 

So welcome Jayne Bamber, as she tells us a bit about her upcoming book, for now, a peek is all we get.

Outmatched Jayne Bamber

Hello, readers! Its always a treat to be featured on Interests of a Jane Austen Girl, and I am excited to share another excerpt of my upcoming release, Outmatched. This novel is a fusion of Mansfield Park and Sense & Sensibility – an unlikely pairing, but one that lends itself to plenty of surprises for the readers! 

The tale opens as Sir Thomas returns to Mansfield Park form Antigua, and just before Willoughby breaks Marianne Dashwood’s heart at Barton. The characters from both books converge at Norland, and while the stories begin to deviate from canon at that point, there is one point that remains unchanged: Willoughby’s dirty little secret. We know from canon that there was a confrontation between Willoughby and Colonel Brandon, and in Outmatched the readers will learn a lot more about Eliza Williams – but for now, here is a glimpse of Willoughby vs. Brandon….

***

Willoughby followed Colonel Brandon down the corridor to the library, and the two men took a seat in a pair of leather armchairs at the end of the room. The fireplace was thankfully kept lit all the time, and Willoughby drew his chair a little nearer to it, for he felt chilled to the bone. He had already imagined what must inevitably come next.

The colonel cleared his throat before looking sternly at Willoughby. “I believe I must drop all pretense of explanation, and begin directly. I was called away from Delaford eight days ago, as you know. I have spent the interval here in Sussex, for the communication, I received that day indicated that my ward, Miss Eliza Williams, was sighted in the area; she has been missing for months. She was last seen staying with friends near Loxwood – but this much I believe you know already. The innkeeper recalls your staying there in the spring.”

Willoughby stiffened, every muscle in his body tense. “I travel a great deal.”

“My ward does not. But she, too, spoke to the innkeeper lately, with the intention of discovering your whereabouts. As her guardian, I have the right to know why that might be.”

Willoughby averted his eyes and shrugged. “You shall have to ask her. Perhaps I left some article behind, and she wished to see it returned to me.”

“You will have to do better than that, Willoughby,” the colonel snarled. “Her asking after you, and her sudden disappearance – they must be connected, and I want answers. If you have harmed her in any way….”

“That, I can assure you, I most certainly have not,” Willoughby cried, thinking with disgust of the encounter he could not begin to confess to his rival. 

“Just what does that mean, you cur?” The colonel stood and sneered down at him. “I know what you really are, a vain seducer and a blackguard. You may think you are bestowing a great honor, rather than villainy and ruination!”

Willoughby glared up at the imposing man. That the Colonel seemed not to know the whole truth made Willoughby bold, and his anxieties were well enough allayed as to allow him the indulgence of indignation, for he could not but chafe at this interruption of his courtship with Marianne. 

“What facts have you? Until you make your accusation outright, I can scarcely defend myself. If you have come all this way to make idle insinuations, I might point out that there is no crime in staying at an inn, and in being noticed, recollected, and spoken of by residents of the area. Perhaps it is not a phenomenon you have ever experienced yourself,” he spat.

“What accusations indeed,” the colonel thundered. He stepped closer, his tall frame towering over Willoughby, whose attempt to stand himself was forestalled by the colonel catching hold of his cravat and pulling him to his feet – to his very toes. Colonel Brandon was stronger than he looked, even at such an age, and his grasp made Willoughby too uncomfortable for any further insolence. 

“I have come all this way,” the colonel repeated. “I have come to put you on notice, sir. I trust my instincts, particularly as regards you. If I find that you have laid a hand on my ward, or that you are connected in any way with her disappearance, I shall return and claim restitution, such as I think you shall not like to pay. I hope this is clear enough for you.”

The colonel released him now with a slight but solid shove and began to stride from the room, but Willoughby returned the shove, his hand jarring the colonel’s shoulder. Colonel Brandon spun about, hellfire in his eyes. Damn the man! 

“I shall put you on notice, then. If you think to sabotage me for succeeding where you have failed – if you think to tarnish my reputation unjustly, I shall be the one to ask for satisfaction.”

The colonel looked utterly unaffected. “Either way, sir, I trust my instincts – and my skill with a pistol. And now you must be wishing to return to Miss Marianne. She so enjoys your pretty words, at present.”

 

 Wow! That was more a small peek, am I right, guys? I at least think this is a book worth getting your hands on ASAP! And not to brag, but I am the lucky one who got her hands on an ARC copy of the book, so I will return imminently with my review. I think Colonel Brandon has the right of the situation with his ward and the villainous Mr Willoughby, I am sure it will only get worse once Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility will converge at Norland, and see what happens next, just a guess… Lots and lots of drama! And personally, I love it. 

GIVEAWAY;

Here is the link for the rafflecpoter link so you can be in the drawing of a copy of this book in the coming weeks, the lucky winner will be contacted by the author. Giveaway Outmatched

In the picture below, you can see when the blog tour starts, and which pages to visit to read about this upcoming release.

Blog tour promo Jayne Bamber

And last but not least, on the following link, you can preorder this wonderful book.

 

So for now, I will just say, see you guys soon. I am in the middle of several books, and I can say that one is a rather big American Austen related book, which is part of a very important book blog come June. Until then, see you soon and stay safe.

Taken by Mary Anne Mushatt

Hi Guys! I know you are likely as tired of being at home as I am, but I am also sure that those of you who have been working through this crisis are ready to come home and relax. Just remember to keep safe and keep distance and then we will see the world come through this soon.
But today I am reviewing another authoress, whose book I have recently been allowed to read as an ARC copy, it is written by Mary Anne Mushatt and now I will let you read for yourself. Remember keep safe.

About the book:

Taken from her home as a young child, Elisabeth Bennet’s sense of self is shaken when the mystery behind her true identity is unraveled.  Discovering her place as the daughter of a duke, she confronts reclaimed memories of her brutal abduction, while tackling the alien world of Regency England’s high society.  Facing the ton is the least of her concerns as her kidnappers remain determined to keep her from Fitzwilliam Darcy – the man who showed his love by first proposing she become his mistress.  Humbled by her refusal, he returns to win her love and respect.

Together with her reunited family, Elisabeth faces her greatest challenges to both her life and her heart — reclaiming herself and finding her happiness.

Review of “Taken”

Taken Mary Anne Mushatt

The plot starts like plenty of other Pride and Prejudice variations. Namely in Hertfordshire, though during the night, where Elizabeth Bennet is dreaming – though I quickly realized something was off, about her character and was soon rewarded with confirmation of my suspicion about the plotline with Elizabeth.

Soon the plot takes us to London, where several titled families come into play, especially when Darcy begins to find interest in Elizabeth. Several misunderstandings occurred between our favourite couple, and both new and old characters appeared throughout the book, – old wounds occur and reopens and are finally closed with peace and love.

Foreign politics, historical events and deadly drama made this book one, you either read in one sitting or fight your way through. But it held my attention and made me jump quite a few times in either shock or sigh in delight or lastly shout at the characters. The main plotline was fairly easy to guess, and the title also gave it away, but the surrounding plot was well written, well-executed and made it into a stunning literary work.

About the author: 

Mary Anne Mushatt a life-long writer relocated to New Orleans last century, where she earned an MFA and created a documentary of oral histories in the African-American and Native American communities along Louisiana’s River Road.  When the levees failed, exiling her family from their home, she discovered the community of Jane Austen acolytes and began writing novels placing the Pride and Prejudice’s beloved characters in innovative situations.  Taken is her second published novel.  As a result of one of her earlier novels, she works with a multi-disciplinary team aiding victims of human trafficking become survivors.

She lives in New Orleans with her husband, two sons and two dogs.

Contact the author;

Connect with Author at Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneMushatt

 

 

The Bennet Affair

Bennet Affair Cover_400x600[8339]

Spies, secret tunnels, codes, France vs England, – and Longbourn involved? Sounds like something you would like, then join me for the review of this new book by Riana Everly. Another author who is a returning factor here with me.

Blurb;

A tale of secrets, sweethearts, and spies!

Elizabeth Bennet’s bedroom in the ancient tower of Longbourn has always been her private haven. So what are those footsteps and shuffling noises she’s now hearing from the room above her head? Drawn from her bed one dark summer night, her clandestine investigations land her in the middle of what looks like a gang of French spies!

William Darcy’s summer has been awful so far, especially after barely rescuing his sister from a most injudicious elopement. Then he is attacked and almost killed nearly at his own front door in one of the best parts of London. Luckily his saviour and new friend, Lord Stanton, has a grand suggestion—recuperate in the countryside and help uncover the workings of a ring of French spies, rumoured to be led by none other than country squire Thomas Bennet!

Drawn together as they work to uncover the truth about the Frenchmen hiding in their midst, Elizabeth and Darcy must use all their intellect as they are confronted with an ingenious code machine, a variety of clockwork devices, ancient secrets and very modern traitors to the Crown. And somewhere along the line, they just might lose their hearts and discover true love—assuming they survive what they learn in the Bennet affair.

Review;

During a thunderstorm at Longbourn, Elizabeth wakes up and hears a sound which sounds incredibly like footsteps, but in the attic, in the middle of the night?

Intriguing and brilliant was words I uttered while reading. Riana had me hooked nearly from page 1, and didn’t let me go again until the very end.

In London, we meet Darcy who is beaten by a gang of bad guys and are helped by Lord Stanton, and soon are asked to help to retrieve an item from the ‘traitorous’ Bennet, who is believed to be a French spy and whose home is in Hertfordshire.

Soon a race against unknown enemies, time, honour and emotions, and soon more unknown history are revealed about the Bennet’s, Darcy and who the real traitor is.

While the romance between Darcy and Elizabeth evolves, the plot tightens around the Bennets, Darcy and the confederates of both sides as the conflict between France and England is coming to ahead.

I was pleased to note that for once Wickham was on the right side, which made me chuckle quite a lot. The ending was worth quite a few sighs, some shakes of the head and of course a delighted smile with the ending, a perfectly romantic ending.

Riana Everly had a masterful way of writing both the good guys and the bad guys, especially Darcy and Mr Bennet was especially well written, in my opinion. The whole plot which takes place during the conflict between France and England was beyond all expectations! I will judge this book to no less than 5 stars or Austen’s.

My inspiration behind The Bennet Affair

Inspiration can come from the strangest places. In the case of my new book, The Bennet Affair, it came from an on-line computer science course.

A few years ago, I discovered Coursera and EdX, and started taking courses in various disciplines, purely for my own edification. If Mr Darcy likes a woman who improves her mind through extensive reading, how much more should he approve of one who learns about art history and musical sound recording and the like? After a few of these, I decided to break out of my comfort zone and do a course in computer science.

There’s no point belabouring the fact that I am not a computer scientist, nor will I ever be. But one of the assignments involved writing a program to break the Caesar cypher, and after that, to break the Vigenère cypher. The computer programs completely eluded me, but I became fascinated by the cyphers.

To give you a taste, the Caesar cypher shifts all the letters of a message a certain distance along with the alphabet. So, for example, all As becomes Bs, all Bs become Cs, etc.

Well, our heroes are a resourceful crew, and they had as much fun with the cyphers as I did. They would probably even manage to write that elusive computer program to crack the cypher, if only they had access to our technology.

The code machine that figures in the story is my own invention, but it was inspired by some of the amazing clockwork and mechanical marvels of the eighteenth century. Before the age of computers and robots, brilliant craftsmen were building beautiful music boxes and automata who could write notes with pen and ink and play actual musical instruments. The more I researched, the more fascinated I became, and the more convinced I was that we needed some brilliant technological gadget in the story too.

I have a couple of other projects in the works as well. I have three books of a six-book mystery series written, starring Mary Bennet, and I am about a quarter the way through a story featuring Colonel Fitzwilliam. I’m hoping to take advantage of April’s Camp NaNo to get further into his story.

Hopefully, my take on these ideas will keep people amused and happy for a while. Enjoy my tale of secrets, sweethearts, and spies!

Buy Link: https://books2read.com/thebennetaffair

Ceasar wheel[8337]

Excerpt;

At the top, the narrow stairwell flattened to a small landing, which led to a secret panel similar to that in her own chamber. This one, however, was older and had not been repaired when the lower storeys had been improved some fifty or sixty years past, and the wood was cracked and shrunken. Pressing her face against the panel, she could see into the room through a chink where the panel met the wall. Her view was not complete, but it showed her much of the centre of the chamber. Covering her lamp so the light would not be seen, she put her eye to the crack and peered through.

She should have seen nothing. The room should have been in complete darkness. How strange, then, and yet how expected it was, that the space was filled with light. This was not the sudden and fitful burst of lightning upon an empty space, but the steady and warm glow of a lamp, shedding its golden light throughout the cavernous space. The draperies were drawn and the sound of the storm scarcely permeated into her concealed closet, but the room was not silent. Men were talking, barely whispering, and moving objects from place to place. This must-have caused the noise that had awakened her. A large table was already set up in the centre of the space, and she could see the end of a cot at the edge of her field of vision. And there, by the window, was the side of the heavy desk that had lain dusty for too many years. She tried to shift to see further to the side of her narrow tunnel, but her robe caught on a nail and she nearly made a noise as she heard the fabric tear. She held her breath, but the whispering men seemed not to notice anything amiss.

Now she could hear distinct voices. There were two men—or two who were speaking, at any rate. To her alarm, the language was French.

Comment Puis-Je Vous remercier? the first voice whispered. How can I ever thank you? Elizabeth had studied French, as was expected of young ladies despite the hostilities with France, and the man spoke clearly and precisely. She had little trouble understanding the conversation.

“You understand that you risk your own life by aiding me thus,” he continued. “You need not attach your cause to mine. I shall not fault you should you decide to change your mind.”

Cela ne sera pas nécessaire,” came the whispered reply. The speaker was English, his French excellent but not unaccented. The voice… surely it could not be! But no, that was impossible. She listened more keenly as the man spoke on. “I know who I am, what we are. Your aims are mine. We are brothers in this endeavour. Fraternité.” He laughed once, a short and bitter sound that echoed in the large space. “You may remain here until your men return, and I shall come with food and books as often as possible. But I hope it will not be more than a week, for the longer you remain, the more likely you are to be discovered. Nevertheless, I shall undertake the task you asked of me, no matter what.”

“If you are caught…” the first man began, but the second cut him short.

“If I am caught, I understand the consequences. I am prepared to take that risk. The benefits should I succeed make the danger worthwhile.”

Merci, mon cousin Thomas Benoit.

“Call me Bennet here, Etienne. Even in private.”

Now Elizabeth clapped a hand across her mouth to stifle a cry. Her father—her beloved English father—was harbouring and abetting a Frenchman. The enemy!

***

Singing bird Met Museum item 191140[8336]

Author Bio;

Riana Everly was born in South Africa but has called Canada home since she was eight years old. She has a Master’s degree in Medieval Studies and is trained as a classical musician, specialising in Baroque and early Classical music. She first encountered Jane Austen when her father handed her a copy of Emma at age 11 and has never looked back.

Riana now lives in Toronto with her family. When she is not writing, she can often be found playing string quartets with friends, biking around the beautiful province of Ontario with her husband, trying to improve her photography, thinking about what to make for dinner, and, of course, reading!

Riana’s novels have received several awards and citations as favourite reads of the year, including two Jane Austen Awards and a Discovering Diamonds review.

You can follow Riana’s blog at https://rianaeverly.com/blog/, and join her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/RianaEverly/) and Twitter (@RianaEverly). She loves meeting readers!

Giveaway;

I’m giving away one eBook on each stop on this blog tour. To enter, just make a comment and leave an email address so I can contact the winner. I’ll enter names into a random number selector to pick the winner. The deadline for entering will be five days after the blog is posted.

Contact;

Website: https://rianaeverly.com/

Blog: https://rianaeverly.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RianaEverly/

Twitter https://twitter.com/RianaEverly

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Riana-Everly

 

Undoing by L. L. Diamond

Undoing L. L Diamond

“Undoing” is Leslie Diamond’s newest book, and she was kind enough to contact me, and offer me the chance to read an ARC copy and therefore review the book, so here I am again with a review of a wonderful new book, – a Pride and Prejudice variation, which quite literally swept me off my feet, by the dramatic, quite plausible, sad if intense and romantic plot.

Review;

Undoing takes its beginning when Elizabeth Bennet is sixteen years old, and the Duke of Leeds, Thomas takes an interest in her and asks her to marry him. Soon Elizabeth is engaged within the Ton in London and meets Thomas’s family, the Darcy’s.
And surprise surprise an instant spark is lit between a certain reserved gentleman and young Elizabeth. Luckily a friendship is started between the two of them.

During my reading, I screamed bloody murder, sighed and felt heartbroken as I read as Darcy and Lizzie falls for each other! It was the best feeling in the world to see them fall in love with each other, and the most horrible sinking feeling in the gut when they agree they can’t act on their feelings.

A visit to Pemberley a known rogue aka Wickham makes an appearance, and Elizabeth realizes why her husband, is not acting as a husband should with his wife. At this point, I could not help but exclaim, “Really? You cannot be serious!” in my assumption, which was proven right, soon after. Meanwhile, the friendship between Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth continues and deepens as time passes.

Though Duke Thomas of Leeds is both scheming and a bit too smart and deceitful for his good, especially since he tries to manage the lives of his family and wife, – and to be honest he managed it quite cleverly and used an old vice and some common sense. But what a wonderful ending!

I will admit to some shock about a certain Colonel, who I like in most variations, but was speechless at his actions and behaviour in this one.

Lastly, I was quite pleased by Elizabeth and her sister Jane and who they ended up with. And it was not Bingley *wink*

Author Bio; Leslie Diamond

L.L. Diamond is more commonly known as Leslie to her friends and Mom to her three kids. A native of Louisiana, she spent the majority of her life living within an hour of New Orleans before following her husband all over as a military wife. Louisiana, Mississippi, California, Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, and now England have all been called home along the way.

After watching Sense and Sensibility with her mother, Leslie became a fan of Jane Austen, reading her collected works over the next few years. Pride and Prejudice stood out as a favourite and has dominated her writing since finding Jane Austen Fan Fiction.

Aside from mother and writer, Leslie considers herself a perpetual student. She has degrees in biology and studio art but will devour any subject of interest simply for the knowledge. Her most recent endeavours have included certifications to coach swimming as well as a fitness instructor. As an artist, her concentration is in graphic design, but watercolour is her medium of choice with one of her watercolours featured on the cover of her second book, A Matter of Chance. She is also a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Leslie also plays flute and piano, but much like Elizabeth Bennet, she is always in need of practice!

Leslie’s books include Rain and Retribution, A Matter of Chance, An Unwavering Trust, The Earl’s Conquest, Particular Intentions, Particular Attachments, Unwrapping Mr Darcy, It’s Always Been You, It’s Always Been Us, It’s Always Been You and Me, and Undoing, which releases April 1st.

Visit Leslie’s website lldiamondwrites.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @lldiamond2

Furthermore, you can find Leslie’s books on the different branches of Amazon, in both paperback, hardcover and including audiobooks.

I was quite pleased to host Leslie, and her new book, and enjoyed the book, and I hope every one of my readers will enjoy it as well, and I can only encourage you all to buy or preorder the book. It is well worth the money, and the enjoyment of several hours of reading. So go on, guys, amazon, Kobo, Kindle, or any other online store where you can get your hands on this wonderful book.